Gilded Age - Industrial revolution in America
saga of American wealth creation, both for the nation and for its
enterprising capitalists, reached its apotheosis during the Gilded
Age, a period roughly delimited by the end of Civil War and the
beginning of World War I.
America, this period was characterized by seemingly boundless
economic expansion and the emergence of a new nation, which had
completed the conquest of its vast Western territories and taken the
lead among other nations, in industry and trade.
had always been a continent of opportunity, a promising land for the
adventurous capitalist as well as for the poor immigrant. Yet,
during the Gilded Age, the rapid transformation from an agricultural
and mercantile economy to industrialism, presented unprecedented
opportunities to daring speculators and inventive entrepreneurs.
the United States economy transformed itself and grew under the
leadership of new tycoons, America's established mercantile society
once again transformed itself under the impact of the nouveau riche,
opportunistic industry leaders or speculative railroad promoters.
were then the forces, which brought such lasting change and created
so many American fortunes, of proportions never seen before and
hardly matched in later times ? How did these fortunes measure up to
the longer established family wealth, built by the equally daring
shipping merchants or the silently accumulated city real estate
holdings ? And, most stringently, who where these capitalists, we
know by their names of Vanderbilt, Gould, Rockefeller or Morgan and
how did they build up their huge fortunes ?
second book of "A Classification of American Wealth" covers the
exciting period of the Gilded Age and sketches the origins of the
large 19th century fortunes which were built by the people variously
qualified as the tycoons, the moguls, the magnates or the robber
The Gilded Age
Introduction and Index